How to Repair a Swiss Army Pocket Watch

Written by martin adamovic
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How to Repair a Swiss Army Pocket Watch
Repair a Swiss Army pocket watch yourself (watch image by Karol Grzegorek from

Swiss Army pocket watches are complex mechanisms comprised of many moving parts. The many gears and moving parts within a pocket watch work in unison to keep time, regardless of the physical position of the watch. When these watches stop functioning correctly, it is often because a loose screw or obstruction is causing an imbalance. Fortunately, there is a simple strategy for fixing Swiss Army pocket watches yourself.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Small Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Watch blower
  • Loupe

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    Open the Watch

  1. 1

    Rotate the pocket watch so that it is positioned face down on a flat surface.

  2. 2

    Identify the case back type. On the back of the watch you will find either small Phillips-head screws or a flat-fitting case back.

  3. 3

    Remove the case back of the watch. Use a small Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screws on a screw-type case back. For flat-fitting case backs, insert a small flathead screwdriver between the case back and the case and pry to remove the case back.

    Repair the Watch

  1. 1

    Remove the pallet lever. This is the mechanism that directs the balance wheel by holding it and releasing it.

  2. 2

    Blow the balance wheel with the watch blower. Hold the watch in several different positions while blowing the balance wheel with the watch blower. Observe the way the balance wheel moves. A normally functioning wheel will move freely and regularly.

  3. 3

    Adjust the balance wheel if it does not move freely. The balance wheel can brush against the centre wheel when the watch is not functioning well. Tighten the balance wheel with the screwdriver to resolve this issue.

  4. 4

    Investigate the balance wheel for obstructions if it still does not work well. Check for loose screws from other components, and tighten all screws in the watch.

  5. 5

    Check the balance staff using the loupe. The balance staff is the piece that holds the balance wheel, hairspring and roller table. Make sure the pivots on the balance staff are smooth. If there are any grooves or lines in the balance staff, replace the balance staff. You can purchase watch replacement parts through your local jeweller or by doing an online search. Close the watch and snap the back onto the watch casing.

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